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2 months ago

News Source: theweek.com
FEC Chair Makes It '100 Percent Clear' Candidates Can't Accept Election Help From A Foreign Power
election power wake

FEC Chair Makes It '100 Percent Clear' Candidates Can't Accept Election Help From A Foreign Power

In the wake of President Trump's admission that he would accept political dirt on his opponents offered by foreign governments, Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub tweeted a statement that she hopes gets through to all Americans.

"Let me make something 100 percent clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election," Weintraub said. "This is not a novel concept. Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation."

At the birth of this country, the Founding Fathers "sounded the alarm about 'foreign interference, intrigue, and influence,'" Weintraub continued. "They knew that when foreign governments seek to influence American politics, it is always to advance their own interests, not America's."

Should a political campaign ever be approached by a foreign power and offered a "prohibited donation," they should immediately report the incident to the FBI, she said, and anyone who "solicits or accepts foreign assistance risks being on the wrong end of a federal investigation." Weintraub prefaced her tweet with the caption: "I would not have thought that I needed to say this."

President Trump just spent 30 hours with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, and "you're not going to believe this, he said some crazy stuff," Jimmy Kimmel said on Thursday's Kimmel Live. Notably, after two years of yelling "no collusion," Trump said he'd happily collude with a foreign government. "He's incredible, he honestly doesn't seem to know what collusion is," Kimmel said. "All he knows is he didn't do it, but he would do it! Because why not? Who cares what the guy he hired to be the head of the FBI thinks about it?"

"Today was one of the worst days, P.R.-wise, in quite some time for Team Trump, which makes me wonder about the timing of this announcement," Kimmel said, reading Trump's tweet about White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stepping down at the end of June. "She's going home to be a professional skateboarder. That's true — or at least it's as true as everything she said while she was working at the White House." Not that she seems sad to leave, he said. When Trump gave her a public sendoff, she never looked "so happy before. She is literally Hucka-beaming with joy at the thought of leaving." Kimmel showed a short retrospective "to reflect and pay tribute to all the Hucka-B.S. she gave us" over her "two wonderful years" as press secretary.

Yes, "White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is quitting," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "And we know that this is true because she's denied it. But this news isn't that surprising because you realize she stopped giving press conferences months ago. So it's just quitting what she already wasn't doing. She's essentially quit being press secretary the same way Trump quit CrossFit."

"In a statement, Sanders said nothing, as usual," Jimmy Fallon said at The Tonight Show. "When reporters asked the president who his next press secretary would be, he was like, 'Twitter.'"

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran on Thursday for early-morning explosions that disabled two tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, saying U.S. intelligence, the level of expertise needed to carry out the "blatant attack," and recent events suggested Iran was the culprit.

U.S. officials echoed those allegations at an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting in New York later Thursday, after which Iran "categorically" rejected the "unfounded claims" from the U.S., condemned the attacks "in the strongest possible terms," and urged "the U.S. and its regional allies must stop warmongering and put an end to mischievous plots as well as false flag operations in the region."

Early Friday, U.S. Central Command released a black-and-white video from a U.S. surveillance aircraft, describing it as showing Iranian sailors on a Revolutionary Guard boat removing an unexploded limpet mine from the side of one of the two damaged tankers, the Japanese-owned chemical tanker Kokura Courageous, on Thursday afternoon. Limpet mines attach to ship hulls and disable but don't destroy the vessel.

The Kokuka Courageous's Japanese owners said the crew saw "flying objects" before the explosion, suggesting mines were not the cause. The second ship, the Norwegian-owned MT Front Altair, burned for hours. All crew members from both ships were evacuated safely.

The apparent attack on the Japanese ship "appeared timed to undermine diplomatic efforts by Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who was wrapping up a high-stakes visit to Tehran," The Washington Post reports. There is a "widening split between pro-diplomacy officials in Iran and hard-liners opposed to further negotiations, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps," a paramilitary group that reports only to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Revolutionary Guard and other Iranian security services "have a decades-long history of conducting attacks and other operations aimed precisely at undermining the diplomatic objectives of a country's elected representatives," the Eurasia Group think tank said in a note Thursday.

Being in the hospital can be scary when you're a kid, and Ella Casano wants to alleviate some of the fear young patients face.

Casano, 12, of Connecticut was diagnosed five years ago with the autoimmune disease Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP), a bleeding disorder. About every eight weeks, she has to have an IV infusion, and she remembers that the first time she saw an IV setup, with its needle and lots of tubing, she felt "surprised" and a "little bit intimidated."

Casano decided the IV could look friendlier, so she grabbed a stuffed animal, cut it up, and glued it over the bag of IV fluid. The nurses and her mom, Meg, all thought this was a great idea, and that's how the Medi Teddy was born. As part of a school project, Casano came up with a business plan for the Medi Teddy, and her mom is setting up a nonprofit so the Medi Teddy can be distributed to children in hospitals, free of charge.

"The response has been wonderful," Meg Casano told CNN. "Her nurses have tried the prototypes and given suggestions, and we think we are ready to produce a really awesome product that can help hundreds of kids."

"Every night I stand here and I make jokes about all of Donald Trump's lies," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show. "It turns out, it's even worse if he tells the truth." Trump told George Stephanopoulos he would accept dirt on Democrats from foreign governments like Russia and China, and when Stephanopoulos "gave Trump an opportunity to not publicly betray our democracy," he doubled down, Colbert said. "We know you'd take it! You took it. The question is, why are you admitting it?" Trump's confession is so "stupid," he explained, because after two years of screaming "no collusion," he just told a national TV audience that of course he would collude. Colbert also debuted his impressive Prince of Whales impression and cursed Trump for making him agree with Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade.

"Apparently, foreign dirt is the only import he won't put tariffs on," Trevor Noah joked at The Daily Show. It isn't surprising that Trump would solicit dirt from hostile powers in 2020 since "he never faced any real consequences for 2016," he added, but "even Trump's loyal subjects are calling him out" on this one.

After laughing at Trump's "Prince of Whales" tweet, Noah said "typos are the least of America's problems right now, because the president of the United States has basically invited foreign governments to interfere in America's election if it'll help him win. And that can be a really dangerous thing that could get him and America into big trouble." Roy Wood Jr. had a PSA.

Yes, "the guy who has spent two years scream-tweeting 'no collusion!' is now saying if anyone's down to collude, I'm your guy," Seth Meyers sighed on Late Night. "If Trump had been president during Watergate, he would have left a business card at the break-in." Seriously, "why are we not just treating this as a confession? Just because he's phrasing it as a hypothetical doesn't make it any less damning," he added. And "this is not a random hypothetical. ... In fact at this point, I think the Russians are the only ones who haven't tuned out Donald Trump."

What some people spend years trying to find, Eric Schubert can track down in a matter of days — and sometimes hours.

Schubert, 18, excels at genealogy, a hobby he picked up at 10 years old. The New Jersey resident started by investigating his own family's history, and has since branched out and is helping other people find their long-lost relatives. Schubert told CBS New York it's easier than ever to connect people, thanks to increased access to public records and DNA home kits. "It's a big puzzle," he said. "You just have to look at all the pieces and put it together in the correct places."

Schubert thinks he's helped more than 1,000 people across the U.S. with their genealogy. He recently connected his friend Sammy Lynam with her birth father and half-sister, and the siblings have since become close. For Kate DeSantis, he was able to find information on her biological mother. "I've gone through my life not looking like anyone," she said, "and to see a picture of my birth mother and then to find out I have siblings — and I look like I belong. It was overwhelming."

Schubert is graduating from high school next week, and said he plans on continuing his genealogical adventures next year at college.

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors 114-110 in Game 6 Thursday night, winning their first-ever NBA championship.

The Raptors' Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam both had 26 points, while Kawhi Leonard and Fred VanVleet scored 22 points each. Leonard was also named the MVP of the finals.

The Warriors, who won the championship last year, are relocating to San Francisco, and this was the team's final game at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

Luxury real estate agents in Beverly Hills are side-eyeing the recent sale of President Trump's 5,400-square-foot mansion for $13.5 million.

Trump bought the house on Canon Drive for $7 million in 2007, Los Angeles County land records show, and in 2018, the county assessed the property at $8.3 million. It was never listed for sale publicly, The Washington Post reports, and the price "seems a little rich, to be perfectly frank," Luis Pezzini, CEO of Pezzini Luxury Homes, told the Post. "Unless there's something spectacular about this [house] that I'm missing." Pezzini said he's selling a house close to Trump's, but it's bigger, on a larger lot, and has a tennis court, and he expects to get just under $13.5 million.

So, who bought the property? The Post reports that a deed registered with L.A. County on May 31 shows it was signed over to Hillcrest Asia Ltd. by Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr. The purchaser's address is a condo in Beverly Hills owned by a company belonging to billionaire Indonesian media mogul Hary Tanoesoedibjo. Tanoesoedibjo has teamed up with Trump on two projects in Indonesia: a resort on Bali and a golf course and resort south of Jakarta. In 2014, Tanoesoedibjo ran for vice president in Indonesia, and he has said Trump inspired him to take a shot at the presidency sometime in the future.

Trump has sold some properties since becoming president, including land in the Dominican Republic, condos at his hotel in Las Vegas, and a warehouse in South Carolina, the Post reports. Trump's son Eric told The Real Deal Los Angeles they chose to part with the Beverly Hills property because his family's "hectic schedules" keep them from the house and "it has seen minimal use."